Review by horror_spooky

"A whole new dimension of evil"

One of the reasons why I bought a 3DS was for Resident Evil: Revelations. I am a huge fan of Capcom's premiere survival horror franchise, and an exclusive entry in that series on the 3DS was definitely a tantalizing proposition for me. Capcom has supported the 3DS well, with a demo of Resident Evil: Revelations helping the eShop debut its demo service, and now the full game of Resident Evil: Revelations stands as one of the absolute best reasons to own a Nintendo 3DS.

Revelations takes place before Resident Evil 5, and offers a glimpse at one of the adventures of Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine post-mansion incident. Bio terrorism is once again the root of the problems, and Jill and her new partner are sent to investigate. When Jill and her partner fail to return communications, Chris and his new partner are sent in to look for them. Each chapter of the game ends on a surprising cliffhanger. While the cast of characters may be mostly forgettable, especially the newly debuting characters, the plot is still an incredible thrill ride that rivals television's best programs.

But still, I don't know why Capcom insisted on introducing a bunch of new characters. The Resident Evil universe is already clogged up with a silly amount of characters. Now there are even more heads to keep track of, and most of them are really boring characters, rehashes of pre-existing characters, or downright awful. There are two new characters in particular that have got to be two of the most annoying video game characters in history. They are two main protagonists, and I was rooting for their demise almost as soon as I met them. That's definitely not a good sign.

That's really Revelations' biggest flaw, but even that can be overlooked since the rest of the game is so great. Players switch between multiple characters throughout the course of the campaign, and each level feels vastly different from any other. There are a variety of environments, including flashback scenes that take place in an area that could wind up being the setting of a possible prequel to Revelations. Unfortunately, separating the game into chapters does have a downside, which is the exploration element found in the older Resident Evil games is lost in the process. Still, efforts are made to make sure the game retains important features from the old Resident Evil games, such as more puzzle solving and a larger focus on horror.

One of my concerns for the game was that it wouldn't control well. With the announcement of Circle Pad Pro, I was even more concerned that I'd have to buy a peripheral in order to play the game and actually have fun. However, Revelations controls very well. It controls just like Resident Evil 4 or 5, with the over-the-shoulder camera. To fix the concern of not having a second circle pad, aiming is down in first-person mode. This actually added another layer of tension that made the game scarier. It also allowed for freer aiming, making enemy encounters that much more strategic.

Enemies in the game are brand new creatures. They are like big blobs that can take numerous forms. Older Resident Evil enemies like Hunters make a return in the game as well, but the really cool creatures in Revelations come in the form of creepy and awesome boss battles. I was disappointed that the zombies that made Resident Evil awesome to begin with failed to make a return in Revelations, but the new creatures, despite having a bland visual design, are pretty scary as well.

Perhaps most impressive about Revelations is the overall presentation. Character models look amazing, and on par with current gen consoles, which is quite the feat for a handheld that's supposed to only be about as powerful as a GameCube. A fantastic atmosphere is created, with just the right lighting, visual effects, and sound that work together to create a great experience. Voice acting goes a long way in the game, as does the awesome soundtrack. Presentation wise, Resident Evil: Revelations could pass as a full blown console entry in the long-running series.

On top of all this, there's a co-op mode in the game as well. I don't understand why the main game wasn't co-op since an AI partner is around at virtually all times. The co-op mode allows players to play through the campaign levels, but with the choice of characters, customizable loadouts, and more. It's a shame that the game requires two game carts to play the co-op locally, but at least there is an impressive online offering that has matchmaking and more that results in a very capable online experience, proving just what the 3DS is capable of when it comes to online gameplay.

Resident Evil: Revelations takes advantage of multiple features of the Nintendo 3DS very well, but fails to capitalize in other areas. While the StreetPass functionality is cool, restricting achievements until StreetPass is accomplished is bothersome to players that don't walk around with their 3DS in their pockets all day. Motion control is not used at all, but the touchscreen is utilized for a few cool puzzles. It's regrettable that Revelations didn't use the touchscreen for more puzzles, but what's there is acceptable, and hopefully a sequel can expand on that functionality a bit more. Resident Evil: Deadly Silence on the original DS took advantage of the microphone very well, so maybe a possible Revelations sequel could explore those avenues, too.

Fans of the franchise will find a lot to love with Resident Evil: Revelations. The game tries to combine elements of the newer action approach and the classic horror that made the series such a success to begin with. While there are a few issues, namely with the characters, Resident Evil: Revelations makes me extremely excited for the future landscape of the Nintendo 3DS library, now that we know amazing experiences such as this are possible on Nintendo's little eighth generation handheld system.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/07/12

Game Release: Resident Evil: Revelations (US, 02/07/12)

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